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Syracuse men’s soccer alum Tajon Buchanan reported to be heading to Inter Milan

The Ontario native will join Italian Serie A table-toppers Inter Milan for over seven-point-five million dollars from Club Brugge

Club Brugge v KA Akureyri - UEFA Conference League: Third Qualifying Round First Leg Photo by Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images

As confirmed in recent statements from Fabrizio Romano, former Syracuse Orange winger Tajon Buchanan will be unveiled as the newest piece in Inter Milan’s side as they push for the title of champions of Italy in the 2023-24 season. Buchanan’s more than seven-point-five-million-dollar price tag solidifies this signing as a record fee paid for a former Syracuse Orange men's soccer Player, breaking his own record set in a seven-million-dollar move to Club Brugge in August 2021.

This signing marks a huge moment for Coach Ian McIntyre and his program, demonstrating that SU soccer adequately prepares its players to make further steps in their career, and eventually feature on the biggest stages in Europe. It was around a year ago that another former Orange star, Nathan Opoku was announced as a new signing for Leicester City, then of the top tier of English soccer.

With the career progression of Opoku, Buchanan, and other Orange alumni in the MLS, SU Soccer stadium will become an evermore appetizing prospect for young talents looking to find a springboard to feature at the highest levels. One might hope that this boosted profile for the team will see even more elite signings come to play their college years in Central New York.

Whilst featuring for the Orange, Buchanan showed the quality that would eventually earn him a spot in a Champions League side. Buchanan scored four and assisted two in his freshman season in 2017 where he demonstrated his incredible pace and ability to beat defenders.

In his sophomore year, Buchanan turned things up a notch, scoring eight and assisting four including a hattrick against St. Bonaventure. Buchanan was awarded for his critical performances with an All-ACC first-team selection. Shortly after his breakout campaign, Buchanan was selected ninth overall in the 2019 MLS Draft.

In MLS, Buchanan further developed his elite athleticism and dribbling ability, eventually earning a spot as an MLS All-Star in 2021. These performances prompted a seven-million-dollar move to Club Brugge, one of the elite clubs in the Belgian first division. Buchanan also earned his first-ever call to feature for the Canadian Men’s national team around this time.

As Buchanan continued to develop, he began to shift more from a forward role to a role on the wide right. This position is what has allowed Buchanan to flourish as it allows him to showcase his pace and athleticism, highlighting his ability to beat opponents one-on-one. Since this shift, Buchanan has truly shone.

As a highlight of his young career, Buchanan starred for an otherwise underwhelming Canada squad that dropped out in the group stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Buchanan demonstrated his tricky feet, improved defending, and breakneck pace as one of the best performers in a Canada squad that was touted to be outclassed in every match. Most notably, Buchanan assisted Alphonso Davies with a beautiful cross in only the second minute against Croatia to give Canada their first goal in FIFA World Cup history.

There can be little doubt that Buchanan’s quality performances in the World Cup against elite opposition largely contributed to his move to Inter Milan. Buchanan featured as a player on the wide right of a 3-5-2 for Canada, and this role is one that slots in perfectly to Inter’s 3-5-2 formation, a variation of what Coach McIntyre uses at Syracuse.

It seems that even against difficult odds, Buchanan has been able to overcome challenges and leaps of quality to get to where he is today. The question now becomes, can he reach true stardom featuring for one of the biggest teams in the world?

The news of Buchanan’s move comes on the back of another major switch for a former Orange star. Kamal Miller was recently traded from Inter Miami where he featured alongside Balon D’Or winner Lionel Messi in a squad that won the Leagues Cup. Miller will now make the move to the Portland Timbers in exchange for financial allocations. Miller made over 75 appearances for Syracuse across four years and also plays with Buchanan for the Canadian National Team.

With the moves in the January transfer window, both players will be immediately available for their new teams. This means Miller will be available for a full preseason with the Timbers and Buchanan could feature as early as the January 6th Serie A match against Hellas Verona.